What was originally meant to replace Hotmail, Microsoft has completed the re-branding for their new mail service(in beta) and now it’s officially Windows Live Hotmail. In February they made the announcement that they were going to bring together the best of both worlds, Windows Live Mail and Hotmail, and create a new name that would satisfy both old loyal users, and new users.

The general overall response was one of confusion. Why would Microsoft revert back to using Hotmail in their name after they promoted their new service as “Windows Live Mail” with a fresh look and new features. At one point Hotmail led the way for online mail, but it was about time to retire the name.

WindowslivehotmailTwo months after the announcement, the re-branding is complete.  If you log into your account, you’ll notice the new logo (pictured to the right) saying “Windows Live Hotmail Beta.”  They’ve also hit another milestone which means they’ll be rolling out new features (chances are, you already have them):

  • Photo upload control (edit, and then insert them inline)
  • Spell check is back
  • Bi-Directional Language Support (Arabic and Hebrew readers)
  • Version picker– do you want the classic, or full?
  • Improvements to the safety bar
  • More reliable, and faster (particularly if you’re using the classic version)

With the version picker, you can select which version you want — classic or full.  The classic version is really for those who have a slow Internet connection, it will help you get the fastest experience possible. The Full version is primarily for those with a broadband connection, and it’s been optimized specifically for that.

They say that there’s more under the covers that will be implemented and released eventually. I really hope they’ve got some great things in-store because still, as it stands, they’re lacking with the features compared to other services.

These changes only apply to you if you’re part of the beta. By rebranding, we meant the change from “Windows Live Mail Beta” to “Windows Live Hotmail Beta.” If you’re not yet part of the beta, you can get on their waiting list at http://ideas.live.com If you are currently a part of the beta and you want to go back to MSN Hotmail, from your account, click “options” and then click “Switch back to MSN Hotmail.”